Importance of UI

The place to bring up any design issues, or post your own creations

Moderator: Moderator Team

Read first, then answer: Do you agree with me?

Yes
43
90%
No
5
10%
 
Total votes: 48

MadRat
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:29 am
Contact:

Post by MadRat »

Here's my idea for a simplified but highly functional START MENU:
[ external image ]
Top Row = Web Browser (default) - Email (default) - Calendar (default) - Media Player (default)
Second list = last programs used list
Third Row = My Computer - Network Places - Home (%USERPROFILE%) - Favorites
Fourth Row = Task Manager - Control Panel - Printers - Find File
Fifth Row = Recent Documents (last used list) - My Documents (%USERPROFILE%\My Documents OR is it %USERPROFILE%\PERSONAL?) - Office Programs Suite (default group)
Bottom Row = Fast User Switch - Lock Screen - Accessibility Options - Shutdown Options

IMO this would really simplify the navigation of the GUI to locate most programs and the common system tools.
*************************************
Go Huskers!

HUMA2000
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:06 pm
Location: España, al sur con el solecito
Contact:

Post by HUMA2000 »

Pretty UI, but i think 2º row must be My Computer - Network Places - Home (%USERPROFILE%) - Favorites and 3º row the recent list.

Elledan
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:18 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Elledan »

It's my opinion that a GUI's menus are only used when a) you're looking for a function you haven't used before in this particular application, b) when there's no keyboard shortcut available or c) you forgot the keyboard shortcut combo :)

As an example, I've placed shortcuts to the executables of programs I often use in a folder and added it to the system path. Starting a program is then as easy as hitting Win+R (Run), typing the application's (abbreviated) name and hitting Enter.

With browsers, text editors, etc. I almost solely use the keyboard.

IMO, navigating a menu in a GUI is usually a cumbersome activity which is best avoided.

Looking at GUIs in this manner, it becomes obvious that there's very little optimization possible, as the most commonly used functions will be accessed using keyboard shortcuts (which should therefore always be available).


Yes, I grew up with CLI only, why do you ask? :)

MadRat
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:29 am
Contact:

Post by MadRat »

HUMA,

The wonderful tool called PAINT allows us to explore some possibilities:

[ external image ]
Last edited by MadRat on Sun Oct 30, 2005 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
*************************************
Go Huskers!

counting_pine
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Fallowfield

Post by counting_pine »

That last one is just wrong. Definitely not happy with shutdown at the top, and the dead bar at the bottom.

I'm not sure I like the way the Control Panel, Printers, Find and Task Manager are all lumped together.

I think I like the idea of putting the Default Browser/Media Player etc. icons together, although the icons look a bit mismatched, at least the Calendar one does.

Accessibility is a bit out of place, and I think Shutdown should go on the left, closest to the Start button.

Favourites really should be a submenu.

To be honest, the horizontal sets of uncaptioned icons on a Start Menu don't sit well with me, although maybe others would disagree. I think that's the sort of thing that belongs in the toolbar.

ScoTTie
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:40 am

Post by ScoTTie »

Thats not really simplified, its cram-as-much-crap-in-a-small-space-as-you-can.

mf
Developer
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:37 pm
Location: Eindhoven, NL
Contact:

Post by mf »

ScoTTie wrote:Thats not really simplified, its cram-as-much-crap-in-a-small-space-as-you-can.
Bump for truth.

MadRat
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:29 am
Contact:

Post by MadRat »

One of my pet peeves when Windows gets sluggish and I happen to hit the START button is that it sometimes takes and opens up the HELP & SUPPORT menu when I really intended to hit the RUN... selection. Having a START MENU setup that allows one to rig it how it works best for the user might mean clumping alot of stuff into a smaller space. The alternative is that double pane default nightmare in XP.

I'm not so sure adding a couple of START style of buttons to help alleviate the cramming need wouldn't be such a bad idea. Maybe a default quicklaunch bar would just include the default email program and default web browser, automatically linked via the Windows settings using symbolic links rather than hard coded ones.

I'd like to see some life breathed into this thread if nothing more than ideas for us to play with post-1.0. The greatest idea that drives this project is the ability of the end user to ultimately make the whole thing custom to fit one's need.
*************************************
Go Huskers!

Crappish
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Tampere, Finland

Post by Crappish »

There is few flaws on your design.

1) Consistency
You have two sets of different styles on single menu. You should try to use single style, as much as possible. Specially when designing the "main menu" of the system.

2) Unlabeled icons
According to Fitt's law: Bigger target equals to faster access. This is quite funny as most of the power users tend to make all things small and cram lot's of stuff in small area and think that they are going faster. Pity them.
Also the unlabeling of icons makes them to clutter together. Also I fail to see the point of making the start menu smaller as while using the bigger targets you still will be going faster even though your mouse has to move a bit more, and it's not like it's wasting your precisious screen estate since it's only a menu.
If the point would be to go from button to button (target to target) then the "cramming up" would make sence since it would shorten the range but when it's only for single execution the bigger targets are the way to go.

Also the icons might not be all that familiar to regular user which makes the usability even slower as you have to hover your mouse above the icon just to see what it really does.
Can't provoke anyone? Why bother posting?

cuppm
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:42 pm
Location: Columbus, OH
Contact:

Post by cuppm »

What about doing the start menu as a collection of tool bars. You could have a tool bars for:
Common Items - All Programs, Run, Help, etc.
Quick locations - My Comp, My Docs, etc.
Quick Apps - Web Browser, Mail, etc.
Session Commands - Lock, Switch User, Logoff, etc.
System Tools - Task Manager, Control Panel, etc.

They could come default in the standard "classic" windows start menu format, and then allow the user to customize. They can reorder, put in separater bars, remove or add sections. They could choose to display as icon, text, or icon & text.

A-v-S
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:37 pm
Location: BAEK CITY (Beek, Limburg, The Netherlands, Europe, Earth)
Contact:

Post by A-v-S »

take also a look at this,
a GUI discussion at the SkyOS forum
http://www.skyos.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=19715
"you laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same"

http://www.il.fontys.nl/~andre

Crappish
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Tampere, Finland

Post by Crappish »

cuppm wrote:What about doing the start menu as a collection of tool bars. You could have a tool bars for:
Common Items - All Programs, Run, Help, etc.
Quick locations - My Comp, My Docs, etc.
Quick Apps - Web Browser, Mail, etc.
Session Commands - Lock, Switch User, Logoff, etc.
System Tools - Task Manager, Control Panel, etc.

They could come default in the standard "classic" windows start menu format, and then allow the user to customize. They can reorder, put in separater bars, remove or add sections. They could choose to display as icon, text, or icon & text.
Could you be more specific? Screenshot perhaps? (doesn't have to be all fancy-pansy, as long as it provides all information required)

Personally I would not put two different sets of start menu's. I'd prefer to create one solid frame and stick with it. Gives the end-user better feeling of consistency and enables them to move from system to system without having to orient to new GUI between changes.
Can't provoke anyone? Why bother posting?

HUMA2000
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:06 pm
Location: España, al sur con el solecito
Contact:

Post by HUMA2000 »

Thinking about UI i got the following conclusion: we must innovate.
ReactOS must not be only a winNT clone, must be also an improved version of it.
We must create an oriented object GUI, using ideas like the ones on the OS/2 PM and products like Object desktop (http://www.stardock.com) and Kapsules (http://kapsules.shellscape.org/).
The most important things we must add is the object support, so we can use miniprograms on desktop, like clocks, claendars, checkers, etc...
Also our links must not be like windows one, they aren't powerfull enought, we must add more options, like the on mouse out/over/click images, the option to run it under diferents user (must be interesting run a program as root under a power user to configure system).
Also the start menu bar must be revamped, adding the support for objects docked on it like cpu metters, network meters, more than one menu, etc...
The option to have more than one start menu bar is also interesting, windows only allow you to create new folders bar that show the content of a folder, not menus nor other interesting docklet.
Some xwindows manager are similar to my idea, like gnome and kde, but are for xwindows and are bloated. Our UI must be configurable, but fell like windows, not like linux.
If some one used the pm from os/2 maybe can understant what i meant, is a fast an higly configurable UI (take a look at http://www.ecomstation.com), but old, and some time not friendly.
We must have the windows look, but with more options.
Menus desing are less important if we do as I said, because, as the same way i can add an object to desk i can do with the menu, so i can create my favorite menu layer.

Crappish
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Tampere, Finland

Post by Crappish »

HUMA2000 wrote: Thinking about UI i got the following conclusion: we must innovate.
ReactOS must not be only a winNT clone, must be also an improved version of it.
crappish wrote: And it is not aimed to be Windows clone, as far as I know, but as "another Windows" which aims to fix the issues Windows has. Hence there is a place to improve the UI as well. Like I have said, he ground rules of UI should be windows-like, however this does not stop the UI for evolving.
;)

HUMA2000 wrote: We must create an oriented object GUI, using ideas like the ones on the OS/2 PM and products like Object desktop (http://www.stardock.com) and Kapsules (http://kapsules.shellscape.org/).
The most important things we must add is the object support, so we can use miniprograms on desktop, like clocks, claendars, checkers, etc...
Also our links must not be like windows one, they aren't powerfull enought, we must add more options, like the on mouse out/over/click images, the option to run it under diferents user (must be interesting run a program as root under a power user to configure system).
...
IMO those all are just extra features for UI, I think the imminent problem here is the usability of default/current UI. Features such as desktop objects could be added later.
Isn't there already a project for multiple logins? Session manager or something like that...

For now I think we should concentrate on the current UI and the usability within.
Can't provoke anyone? Why bother posting?

MadRat
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:29 am
Contact:

Post by MadRat »

I saw this program out there in the wild and really liked it:

[ external image ]

Of course this one costs money. But IMO its idea is interesting enough to consider.

Another thing I always liked about office 4.3, 97, and 2K but missed with 2K3:

[ external image ]

The shortcut bar!!
*************************************
Go Huskers!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests